State's 'Equitable Math' claims focus on 'right' answer is 'white supremacy'


(Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

Focusing on finding the correct answer to math problems an example of “white supremacy,” according to a statewide framework under consideration by the California education department.

A training manual outlining the framework titled “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction: Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction”  offers “[e]xercises for educators to reflect on their own biases to transform their instructional practice,” Breitbart News reported

The manual was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the “Equitable Math” website states.

“White supremacy culture infiltrates math classrooms in everyday teacher actions,” the manual contends. “Coupled with the beliefs that underlie these actions, they perpetuate educational harm on Black, Latinx, and multilingual students, denying them full access to the world of mathematics.”

It provides examples of how “white supremacy culture” has infiltrated math classes:

  • The focus is on getting the “right” answer.
  • Independent practice is valued over teamwork or collaboration.
  • “Real-world math” is valued over math in the real world.
  • Students are tracked (into courses/pathways and within the classroom).
  • Participation structures reinforce dominant ways of being.
  • Additionally, the document asserts the means by which teachers assess student learning in math is based on white supremacy culture, as demonstrated by:
  • Students are required to “show their work.”
  • Grading practices are focused on lack of knowledge.
  • Language acquisition is equated with mathematical proficiency.

The proposed framework says the above “common practices that perpetuate white supremacy culture create and sustain institutional and systemic barriers to equity for Black, Latinx, and Multilingual students.”

To “dismantle these barriers, we must identify what it means to be an antiracist math educator.”

Teachers must consider the ways they “perpetuate white supremacy culture in their own classrooms, and develop a plan toward antiracist math education to address issues of equity for Black, Latinx, and multilingual students.”

Addressing the issue of getting the “right” answer,” the manual says the “concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so.”

The proposal has drawn opposition, including from a group called Educators for Quality and Equality, Fox News reported.

In a letter to California education officials, co-founder Lori Meyers said the group’s members are “deeply concerned about the draft 2021 CA Mathematics Framework, which contains discriminatory and divisive content that will impede us from accomplishing” important objectives in math instruction.

“We ask that the state provide us with a mathematics framework that reflects sound, research-based practices over political ideology,” Meyers said.

‘Two plus two make four’

In a column in March, WND Managing Editor David Kupelian noted that the main character in George Orwell’s “1984” runs afoul of the ruling party for insisting “two plus two make four.”

Kupelian points to a math education professor in New York City who claims the notion that “2+2=4” is one that “reeks of white supremacist patriarchy.”

Meanwhile, in Oregon, the state’s education department is promoting “A Pathway to Math Equity,” intended to train teachers in how to “dismantle racism in mathematics instruction.”

“We see white supremacy culture show up in the mathematics classroom even as we carry out our professional responsibilities,” declares the teachers’ guide, which requires that educators take responsibility for “visualizing the toxic characteristics of white supremacy culture with respect to math.”

The main “toxic characteristic” is the focus on getting the “right” answer.

Kupelian noted that Rutgers University recently determined that speaking and writing English correctly is also racist. The school’s English department is altering its grammar standards to “stand with and respond” to the Black Lives Matter movement and emphasize “social justice” and “critical grammar” over correct spelling and grammar.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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